Gift: World Series Encyclopedia, 1903-1960

Friend of the blog — and actual, real-life friend — Dan Lurie made of the above a Christmas gift for yours truly. It’s a book, published in 1961, called World Series Encyclopedia and purporting to have “Game-By-Game Highlights” and “Lifetime Statistics Of All 1136 Series Players [1903-1960].”

Pictured here are the front and back covers, respectively. So far as I can tell, the illustrations on the front are of (clockwise from top left) Joe DiMaggio stepping over “napping” (read: “rather unconscious”) Cincinnati catcher Ernie Lombardi in 1939; 18-year-old New York Giant Freddie Lindstrom watching a grounder deflect off a pebble and over his head in 1924; and a would-be game-winning third strike eluding the grasp of Brooklyn catcher Mickey Owen in the 1941 Dodgers-Yankees series.

The back cover features the following illustrations: a Brooklyn “bum” harboring some grief towards Don Larsen and his perfect game in 1956; Willie Mays’ uber-famous catch of Vic Wertz’ center-field fliner in 1954; a metaphorical depiction of Cardinal Pepper Martin (who stole five bases in the 1931 series) “stealing” off Athletic catcher Mickey Cochrane; and Brooklyn Dodger Al Gionfriddo making a catch at the fence off a would-be Joe DiMaggio homer in 1947.

It should be noted that the ’47 Series also featured Dodger Cookie Lavagetto, making it (i.e. the series) an unambiguous victory for Italian-Americans everywhere.

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